On Sunday, March 16th, first time Director Chuck MF. Deuce brought his vision and imagination to the screen at Baxter Avenue Theaters. I was invited to attend the premier and was blown away by the talent and local presence, as the entire film was shot in Louisville.
The premier was filled to capacity with local business owners, friends, family, and people ready to watch a good movie. In that movie theater we all had one thing in common: We love Louisville. We love the local talent that beams out of Louisville's streets and we love the art, talent, and imaginative community that is in every neighborhood.
The film followed a group of uninspired twenty somethings near the bible belts buckle as they reflect on their lives to date. When the town's one success story returns they realize the bandwagon wasn't the ride they expected.
The soundtrack of Good Luck with That is a compilation of local artists in Louisville’s music scene, and represents a cross-genre selection of choice music. The artists included in Good Luck with That’s soundtrack are: Uh Huh Baby Yeah, T Razor, Slithering Beast, Cougar Express, Beach Heart, D Fresh, Jalin Roze, Scanners, Actual People, and of course, Skyscraper Stereo.
I got to ask a few questions to Chuck Deuce about his inspirations for the film, why he chose to shoot at particular locations, and why he did not cast the local underground drug dealer like he originally planned, among other things.
What was your local inspiration for the movie?
My local inspirations for the movie were conversations I found my self in with friends and barflies. A found a common theme; great ideas with out the means or motivation to accomplish them. I believed this couldn't be exclusive to Louisville. I created a town that existed on the outskirts of an unnamed major city. Daniel Boone, Kentucky. Which the characters were referred to as “The Boonies.” I tried to shoot exteriors that would give an impression of such an artsy commuter town that would look unfamiliar to even those that have lived in Louisville their entire lives.
What did you want your audience to feel, think, or relate to when watching the film?
When watching the film, I wanted the audience to be entertained, but more so inspired. That one of their own, someone they see every night, managed to write, organize, film, complete and release a hour and a half of his imagination. That the buildings, businesses, music, and individuals they take for granted could be compiled into a viable example of commercial art. That anything is possible.
How important was making the cast a diverse crew?
All art, I believe, is a mash up of other ideas and experiences, crossed with the way things are… and how you think they should be. The cast was of mixed race, because my circle of friends has always been of mixed race. It would be inaccurate representation of my experience, if the cast were majorly one race or another. My first memories of ensemble cast shows and movies were on Nickelodeon. In the 90s the shows on Nick were always a diverse cast and I grew up thinking your group of friends should be diverse. So, if I were to imagine a small town with a group of wise cracking friends, they would be of mixed race, because I imagine... that's how it should be.
Why did you choose the locations you chose to shoot at? (Mag Bar, Cahoots, etc.)
The initial draft of the script was a single set play. Inspired by the play "The Iceman Cometh", which like the TV show “Cheers”, takes place completely in a bar. We (Skyscraper Stereo) have had a great working relationship with Cahoots and Mag Bar, they gave us our first opportunities at live performance. Both also have very photogenic interiors, so the idea to approach them first was a no brainer. I also wanted to give the town a low brow look, so the extravagant bars or Fourth Street were not only over our budget but artistically incorrect.
Do you prefer music or movie production?
Both music and motion pictures have their perks. Music is lower risk artistically, as the music industry especially at the semi-pro level is extremely oversaturated. No matter how ambitious you get, it requires a lot more work to get anyone to notice a song or album, than a music video or movie. But on the other side, music requires a lot less resources. A few people in a room can knock out a song, where as a camera requires a larger team in order to get what is in your head to wind up accurately recorded. But the challenge is part of its appeal. Walking in a room with 7 people and thinking, “Can I organize them to portray, through actions, dialogue, background art, angles, etc., exactly what I saw in my head when I wrote this? And when you do... it's extremely rewarding.
I found it interesting that you originally casted a local Louisville underground drug dealer. How do you think his character would have affected the movie and its relation to locality?
One movie high on “Good Luck with That's” list of inspirations was KIDS. I wanted some grime on screen. Our chosen dealer didn't work out for a few reasons. One being, I noticed because Louisville doesn't have a film industry, folks aren't really akin to separating acting from reality. Putting familiar faces, in familiar locations, with familiar themes garner questions such as “Is it a documentary?” “Did this really happen” and the answer "No, it is narrative fiction” causes confusion. It could be very possible that casting a drug dealer… as a drug dealer …may have drew unwanted, unwarranted attention. And for his protection and ours, I decided against it. On top of that…he wasn't a great actor.
What can we expect from Chuck MF Deuce for 2014? Any new music, movies, or screen plays in the works?
New ideas are always in the works. I work in a "throw darts at the wall and see what sticks" kind of fashion. I dream up something…and then test the waters as far as what my community of resources wants to participate in. Skyscraper Stereo has a fourth unreleased album titled "Scrape or Die" that is in danger of reaching Detox level of mythology. Its release is a priority. Ideas of a second movie are being passed around, but it is in very infant stages. Also Spinellis is looking forward to a few commercials from me. So short answer... a lot from Chuck and friends this year.
If you missed the film it will be available on Vimeo in late Spring. It is also being submitted to a number of film festivals in the region.
Photo and content provided by Chuck MF Deuce and EPK.